FIFA bringing the world together?

7 July, 2006 at 11:23 pm (Life, News, Sports)

Watching World News Tonight, I caught a glimpse of a FIFA-themed story; supposedly, the 2006 fight for the World Cup is bringing all of us together around the globe. Or is it?

I admit that I watched the Mavs in that last basketball tournament. Why? The hype, of course. I’m not a valiant observer of sporting events on tv. But somehow I was drawn to it. I even had dreams in which I asked friends impatiently who won the game the night before (if I missed it). And so, partly for the same reason, I was drawn to the broadcast of FIFA. Being European, the need to watch a good soccer match can be compared to a musician who can’t imagine being separated from their instrument.

And so, a few weeks ago, I caught FIFA fever. Poland was eliminated early on in the tournament, so I was ready to pick favorites after watching a few games. Argentina quickly earned my respect and gained favoritism after their 2:1 victory over Tunisia. It was one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Their first goal was phenomenal… 23 fluid and precise passes to the goal. How could they top that, I thought. They did, with their second goal made by the Argentinian resembling Adam Sandler. His teammate kicked the ball from across the field; he bounced it off his chest and kicked it into the goal before the ball even hit the ground. Truly stunning. Then, sadly, Argentina was out of the running. I had to find a new favorite; choosing England (biased, obviously) I supposed that they would go all the way and win the cup. I was mistaken when they were defeated by Portugal (who, by the way, plays dirty). Why? Two main reasons: Beckham was out due to a knee injury in the middle of the game, and Rooney (supposedly another great player on the British team) was eliminated via red card penalty for stomping on an opponent’s nether region. So long, Britain… At least Portugal is out now, who got a fine kick in the behind from Italy (they scored two goals within two minutes at the very end of overtime – nails in Portugal’s coffin, so to speak). Now the World Cup will lie either in the hands of Italy or those of France.

Argentinian Fan

A FIFA fan (old and young alike) will still watch the games after his/her country of choice has been eliminated. Why? It’s rather hard to explain; this inner feeling of excitement and a fixation on the television. You remain glued to the screen as the minutes go by, then overtime, and perhaps the chance of penalty goals. Suspense, drama, shirt-pulling, and yellow and red cards. They define what makes FIFA so great and successful. So yes, in a way, FIFA brings us all together. We just don’t speak to each other… we yell at the tv.

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